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Slight increases in drought and dry conditions this week

The latest Drought Monitor, released this morning, shows an expansion of moderate (D1) drought in Virginia and North and South Carolina and abnormally dry (D0) conditions in Alabama and Georgia as almost no rain fell in the last week. By comparison, drought was eliminated and dry conditions shrunk in Florida, which felt the early effects of Hurricane Ian as it moved north from the Caribbean. This week, eastern Georgia and the Carolinas may experience drought-ending rain from Ian as it continues to head north. The relief depends on where Ian tracks, and that is still evolving over time. Abnormally dry conditions are likely to increase in next week’s map in western parts of the region because no rain is expected for Alabama and western Georgia in the next week, a frustration for farmers who were hoping for some rain from Ian.